Week 8: NorCal CIF Bowl Rankings

Jalen Harvey has been a dynamic performer all season long for El Cerrito, which stayed at No. 2 in this week’s Division III North bowl game rankings. Photo by Harold Abend.

No. 1 teams remain De La Salle, Placer, Marin Catholic and Central Catholic, but will Placer stay on top in D2 or do Hillmen look headed to D3? Go inside to read analysis of every division by long-time editor Mark Tennis. Check Wednesday for column on proposal to scrap CIF regional bowl games.

Note: The top 10 teams that would be ranked by CalHiSportsFootball for the CIF Open Division in Northern California would be:

1. De La Salle (Concord); 2. Elk Grove; 3. Franklin (Elk Grove); 4. Bellarmine (San Jose); 5. Folsom; 6. Serra (San Mateo); 7. Deer Valley (Antioch); 8. Placer (Auburn); 9. Luther Burbank (Sacramento); 10. Buhach Colony (Atwater).

With assistance from Harold Abend and Paul Muyskens, here are the Week 8 rankings for each of Northern California’s CIF bowl game divisions (previous ranking in parentheses; after games of Saturday, Oct. 13):

1. (1) De La Salle (Concord) 7-0
2. (2) Elk Grove 7-0
3. (3) Franklin (Elk Grove) 7-0
4. (5) Folsom 7-0
5. (4) Bellarmine (San Jose) 5-1
6. (6) Serra (San Mateo) 5-1
7. (7) Deer Valley (Antioch) 6-1
8. (8) Luther Burbank (Sacramento) 7-0
9. (9) Buhach Colony (Atwater) 5-2
10. (10) St. Mary’s (Stockton) 5-2
11. (12) Monte Vista (Danville) 6-1
12. (11) Oak Grove (San Jose) 6-0
13. (13) Oak Ridge (El Dorado Hills) 6-1
14. (14) Granite Bay 4-3
15. (15) California (San Ramon) 6-1
Drops: None.
Bubble Teams: Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 4-2, Del Oro (Loomis) 3-4, Foothill (Pleasanton) 4-3, Freedom (Oakley) 5-2, Grant (Sacramento) 2-5, James Logan (Union City) 6-1, Lincoln (Stockton) 4-3, Milpitas 5-1, Pleasant Grove (Elk Grove) 5-2, San Ramon Valley (Danville) 3-4, St. Ignatius (San Francisco) 5-1.
No. 1 Team Result: De La Salle (Concord) defeated Amador Valley (Pleasanton) 52-24.
Race for No. 1: There was very little change in this week’s rankings in this division. The only team that lost was No. 6 Serra, but the Padres could hardly be dropped after losing 35-34 in overtime to No. 5 Bellarmine. There should be a lot more moves next week in the aftermath of games such as No. 1 De La Salle hosting No. 11 Monte Vista and No. 2 Elk Grove hosting No. 3 Franklin. Two teams from the bubble that played each other last week were Freedom of Oakley and Pittsburg. Freedom won 49-48 in one of the wildest games in Northern California so far this season.

1. (1) Placer (Auburn) 7-0
2. (2) Oakdale 6-1
3. (4) Rancho Cotate (Rohnert Park) 7-0
4. (5) Cosumnes Oaks (Elk Grove) 6-1
5. (8) Yuba City 6-1
6. (7) Northgate (Walnut Creek) 6-1
7. (9) Concord 7-1
8. (NR) Inderkum (Sacramento) 5-2
9. (NR) Vista del Lago (Folsom) 7-1
10. (6) Casa Grande (Petaluma) 5-2
Drops: Previous No. 3 Paradise lost to Chico 36-35; No. 10 Benicia lost to Vallejo 28-19.
Bubble Teams: Enterprise (Redding) 5-2, Foothill (Palo Cedro) 4-3, Paradise 5-2, Sierra (Manteca) 6-1, Washington (Fremont) 5-2.
No. 1 Team Result: Placer defeated Bear River (Lake of the Pines) 14-7.
Race for No. 1: There’s still a few weeks to go, but early indications according to the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section office are that Placer will be in the section’s Division IV bracket and not Division III. We will wait until that is official, but if it happens there would be a new No. 1 at the top of this division with Placer switching to D3 North. Perhaps just as significant a development in this division is Paradise’s 36-35 upset loss to Chico in the Northern Section. With Paradise losing, that just about guarantees that the eventual Northern Section D1 champ is going to have at least two losses. It also will pretty much take out the Northern Section for the D2 North equation. Whether Placer is in play or not, the likelihood here is for a Sac-Joaquin D3 vs. North Coast D2 matchup in the regional bowl game. There could still be a CCS Division I champion that gets into the mix, but only if that team ends up being a competitive third-place team from the West Catholic Athletic League.
Note about CIF Central Coast Section teams: Once the playoff brackets are announced, we expect several quality teams from CCS “A” leagues that are not going to be in the CCS Open Division to be placed in the section’s Division I or Division II brackets. Examples could be a third-place team from the West Catholic Athletic League or a second-place team from the De Anza League (Palo Alto, Los Gatos, Milpitas, etc.). At that point, those teams would then get placed into our D2 North bowl game rankings (they are all considered Division I now) and it’s possible one or more of those teams will be ranked near the top.

1. (1) Marin Catholic (Kentfield) 7-1
2. (2) El Cerrito 7-0
3. (3) Cardinal Newman (Santa Rosa) 7-0
4. (4) Seaside 6-0
5. (5) Sutter 7-0
6. (6) Campolindo (Moraga) 6-1
7. (7) Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland) 6-1
8. (8) Ripon 8-0
9. (9) Los Banos 6-1
10. (10) Soquel 5-1
Drops: None.
Bubble Teams: Analy (Sebastopol) 8-0, Aptos 5-2, Argonaut (Jackson) 7-0, Carmel 5-1, Escalon 5-2, Hilmar 6-2, Menlo School (Atherton) 5-1, Sacred Heart Prep (Atherton) 5-1, Salesian (Richmond) 7-1, St. Helena 7-0, West Valley (Cottonwood) 6-1.
No. 1 Team Result: Marin Catholic (Kentfield) defeated Terra Linda (San Rafael) 45-6.
Race for No. 1: With the top three teams in this division all slated to be in the North Coast Section D3 playoff bracket, the question is becoming which other section champ is going to be in the NorCal bowl game. If Placer of Auburn (No. 1 in D2 North) does indeed drop down, the Hillmen would take care of that berth by winning the Sac-Joaquin D4 crown. If Placer stays up, one team to watch for is No. 5 Sutter. The Huskies, who beat Gridley last week 62-0, have a huge game this week against Enterprise of Redding. If Sutter wins, based on other scores last week and throughout the season, the team would have a claim at being the No. 1 team in the Northern Section regardless of school size. And with No. 4 Seaside only winning by 12-7 over Monte Vista Christian, a big win by Sutter could indeed push the Huskies past the Spartans.
Note about CIF Central Coast Section teams: Once the playoff brackets are announced, we expect several quality teams from CCS “A” leagues that are not going to be in the CCS Open Division to be placed in the section’s Division III or Division IV brackets. At that point, those teams would then get placed into our D3 North bowl game rankings and it’s possible one or more of those teams will be ranked near the top.

1. (1) Central Catholic (Modesto) 5-2
2. (2) McClymonds (Oakland) 3-3
3. (3) Ferndale 6-1
4. (4) Le Grand 6-1
5. (5) Pierce (Arbuckle) 7-0
6. (6) Capital Christian (Sacramento) 6-1
7. (7) Portola 7-0
8. (8) Valley Christian (Dublin) 5-2
9. (9) Upper Lake 5-2
10. (10) Foresthill 6-1
Drops: None.
Bubble Teams: Bradshaw Christian (Sacramento) 3-4, California School for the Deaf (Fremont) 6-1, Maxwell 5-2, Modesto Christian (Modesto) 4-3, St. Bernard (Eureka) 5-2, St. Vincent de Paul (Petaluma) 5-2.
No. 1 Team Result: Central Catholic did not play.
Race for No. 1: In all of Northern California from last week’s bowl game rankings, there were only three teams that lost and two of those were to higher-ranked foes. The D4 North group was the same as D3 North in that no one lost. The indication of Placer going into the same Sac-Joaquin playoff division as Central Catholic, however, has a major impact on the D4 North bowl game. This is because the odds of the Raiders losing in their section playoffs could be much higher and opens up the bowl possibilities for several other teams.

Comments or corrections? Email markjtennis@gmail.com.

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  1. Jeff
    Posted October 17, 2012 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    I don’t really understand how they divide the schools (DI, DII, DIII, DIV, etc) I would have figured enrollment would be the deciding factor. Evidently I’m mistaken; Placer – 1335, Los Banos, 1375, El Cerrito – 1325. I would think that these schools would all be in the same division. Someone enlighten me please.

    • Posted October 17, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

      Every section can divide the schools as they please. In the NCS (El Cerrito), it is enrollment but schools also are allowed to petition to a higher division. Marin Catholic and Cardinal Newman have done this and thus will be in the same section playoffs as El Cerrito. In the Sac-Joaquin, it’s only partly done by enrollment in that they will take all of the teams that make the playoffs and then divide them into groups of 16 (as opposed to keeping teams in the same enrollment division from beginning to end). The problem with that is that there are certain schools that have enrollment totals that are essentially on the bubble from one division to the next. Placer is the most significant school in that regard for this season. The section listed Placer as Division III at the start of the season and Placer was Division III last year. All of the SJS D3 schools are then considered D2 North for the bowl games. But it’s beginning to look like Placer may be Division IV for the section playoffs (D3 North for bowl games) because there are 32 schools with higher enrollments that are currently in line to make the SJS playoffs. We just don’t know yet for sure whether Placer is going to be D4 for the section or D3. If it’s D4, we would then reclassify Placer for the bowl game rankings into D3 North instead of D2 North. I know it’s confusing, but that’s what happens in a state with 10 different sections that can pretty much do things differently from each other.

  2. Richard Chettero
    Posted October 17, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    Los Banos is only 1145

  3. Gonorthstate
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 4:49 am | Permalink

    Mark, I have been closely involved in high school football for the last the last 35 years(North coast, Northern and Sac Joaquin) sections. Up until recently the Northern section has taken a back seat to the other sections and I can only attribute this to its geographical location. I implore you to watch their games, which are now available on the playon sports network or though youtube.
    When I saw you dropped Paradise entirely out of your top 10 I was quite disappointed. I have seen enough football to know that this league at the top end of leagues located in Northern California. I not only think Paradise is deserving of serious consideration, but also believe Enterprise and Chico are as well.
    Enterprise has 2 losses; one in overtime to Paradise and one to a full strength West Valley(who has since lost their QB and div 1 prospect Austin Clark; they had a quality win vs McClymonds)They had a quality win 45-21 over Del Campo who almost beat Elk Grove 20-16. Chico has two losses; a one touchdown loss to NU in NU and a one point loss to Enterprise in Enterprise;( quality win vs a 6-1 Center team 30-19). Paradise has 2 losses; one to a full strength Grant squad which was statistically a even game, PHS faultered in the red zone 4 times. They also lost in 2ot to Chico by a point. Their quality out of section win came against Napa 49-12. The next week Napa beat Casa Grande 35-14 and you have placed Casa Grande ahead of Paradise in your rankings. This must be an oversight.
    I rarely look at the Freeman ratings but this week I did to see where the Eastern Athletic League sits compared to the other schools compare in your top 10. When it came to strength of schedule the top four teams in EAL all had a higher strength of schedule rating than all of your top 10. Enterprise 27, Chico 24.5, Foothill 23, and Paradise 22.5. When it came to the actual rating it showed 3 of these schools would have been in the top 9. Enterprise is 2nd(37.2), Paradise is 3rd(36.2), and Chico is 9th(32). Here are you top 10 strength of schedule and ratings;
    1. Placer 16.4 45.4
    2. Oakdale 10.8 35.7
    3. Rancho Cotati 4.3 35.4
    4. Consumnes Oaks 7.9 32.3
    5. Yuba City 14.2 32.5
    6. Northgate 2.3 20.9
    7. Concord 7.6 31.8
    8. Inderkum 21.7 32.3
    9. Vista Del Lago 3.4 24.5
    10.Casa Grande 11.4 22.8
    Enterprise 27 37.2
    Paradise 22.5 36.2
    Chico 24.5 32
    Foothill 23 25

    The biggest knock in past years about the Northern Section is that they haven’t gone out of section and and their strength of schedule has been low(untested). This has been proven this year and hopefully will be rewarded. I’m not saying they deserve a bowl game however I know they would be competitive. They just deserve some respect in your polls. Please watch some of these schools games on cifnorthernsectiontvevents, playonnetwork, youtube. Please comment if you would like.

    • Posted October 18, 2012 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      Good point on Casa Grande comparison with Paradise. Thanks for that.
      We did want to get Vista del Lago in there, though, because it is playing Cosumnes Oaks.
      Probably can get a North Section team back in there next week for loser of that game.
      The injury situation at West Valley is unfortunate and we were aware of it, but the loss to Central Valley wasn’t close, either.
      The beneficiary of all this — as we pointed out this week — could be Sutter in D3 North.

  4. Posted October 19, 2012 at 3:05 am | Permalink

    Based on a not so quick calculation I did the other day, of the 64 SJS D1-4 teams likely to be chosen (if done right after Week 7 games) for the playoffs, there are only 13 teams from schools with enrollments less than Placer’s (1325). This would put the Hillmen in D4.
    However, my enrollment figures may not be up to date.

  5. Posted October 19, 2012 at 3:56 am | Permalink

    Based on what I understand, here’s how SJS playoffs structure for football works.
    All SJS leagues are classified Division1,2,3,4,5,6,or 7. This is based much on enrollment, but also recent past performance in all sports. For football those teams in leagues classified 1 thru 5 are simply D1-4, and those in 6 and 7 leagues simply D5-6.
    After the regular season is finished, the top two league finishers in each league get automatic playoff births, than they take the teams with the best season records until there are 64 team for D1-4 and 16 teams for D5-6. If there are teams with the same season records putting the number over 64 in D1-4 and over 16 in D5-6, than SJS uses the following criteria (I believe) for the final playoff slots: 1. winner in head to head competition 2. Winner over common opponents 3. Freeman’s Computor (Max Preps) Power Rating.
    After the 64 teams for the D1-4 playoffs are determined, the teams from schools with the 16 largest enrollments go into the D1 playoffs: the next largest 16 into the D2 playoffs, the third largest 16 into the D3 playoffs, and the smallest 16 into D4 playoffs. For the D5 and 6 playoffs, of the 16 selected teams, the largest 8 go into D5 and the smallest 8 go into D6 playoffs.
    However, a team may only go into a play off one division lower that its league classification. For example, St. Mary’s has an enrollment of about 1150, but because it plays in the D1 Tri City League, the Rams may not play lower than D2 in the playoffs.
    Seeding is based on season record and the same the final playoff slots formula. However a team may be moved up or down one bracket if transportation distance is over (I believe) 100 miles.

  6. Wildcat
    Posted October 20, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    In the Division IV North. The number 2 team McClymonds, Calpreps has there enrollment at 552. Is that correct? And if so I thought the Oakland section had to play in Divison 2 for the Bowl games. In 2010 when McClymonds went Undefeated they where in Divison 2. Has anything changed since then?

    • Posted October 20, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

      McClymonds was clearly under 500 last year but guess it’s possible it went up quite a bit. We’ll check again.

  7. Christy
    Posted October 21, 2012 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    Can you tell me why Clayton Valley is not in the top of the nor cal d2. There only loss is to pitt game 0 and have won by running clock in almost every game since. I know this was from last week but even then they were ranked in front of a lot of the other teams according to cal preps. This week they they completely dominated Concord (ranked 7) at Concord 49 – 6 who requested a running clock with almost 4 minutes to go in the 3RD QUARTER. Please let me know.

    • Posted October 21, 2012 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

      NorCal D2 has been a bit of a mess all year without Sac-Joaquin D2 schools in there no longer and will only get worse when Placer probably goes down to D3 and some CCS team that isn’t in the CCS Open Division gets added on. We’ll include Clayton Valley next week for sure. One of our guys was there to see it, too.

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